Valve today announced a tournament called the The International, during which Dota 2 will be shown extensively to the public for the first time. The Tournament, which will be broadcast in four languages (Chinese, German, Russian, and English) for free, will take place between August 17, 2011 and August 21, 2011 at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.
The International will feature the 16 best Dota teams in the world (GGnet, MYM, NA'Vi, CCM, LGD, TyLoo, OK.Nirvana.int, M5, MiTH-Trust, EHOME, StarsBoBa, OK.Nirvana.cn, nevo, Scythe.SG, MUFC, and Mineski.Infinity). They will compete in the Dota 2 Championships through a group stage, double elimination playoff format over the course of Cologne's five-day trade show. The winning team will receive $1 million - Valve clearly has a large marketing budget for the upcoming game.
"The International is the first public Dota 2 event and will give the tens of millions of gamers playing Dota around the world their first look at the new game," Gabe Newell, president and founder of Valve, said in a statement. "I have had the good fortune to watch the competitors as they prepare for the tournament, and the level of play is extraordinary."
In October 2010, Valve announced its sequel to the popular WarCraft 3 mod, Defense of the Ancients (DotA): Dota 2. The standalone game will arrive for the PC and Mac later year.
Valve even hired Icefrog, the gamer who currently maintains Dota Allstars, which is the most popular original Dota mod. The full roster of heroes from Allstars is being brought over, along with items, upgrade paths, and skills. The migration to the Source engine means graphical upgrades and added voice chat.
The Dota 2 team is also reworking the visual style to accent important information, and more voice character lines will be introduced. Valve wants to keep the focus on multiplayer, but bots will fill in for disconnected players and for skirmishes. Valve plans to add match-making, guides created and voted on by the community, and a new coaching system to help ease in new players. Veteran players will be able to log in and offer guidance to new players, and receive feedback for their good work.